That whirring you hear may be the sound of a health care finance executive’s heads spinning in circles.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and other federal laws and regulations have given those executives a to-do list that reaches to Mars, just as it has given health insurance company executives a to-do list that reaches to Jupiter, and it’s not always clear which items on the list should come first.
Firstsource Solutions Ltd., Mumbai, India (NYSE:FSL) — a company that hopes to profit by taking on part of the mountain of the information technology (IT) work and other back-office health care organizations will have to do — recently conducted an informal survey of the health care finance executives who attended a conference in Las Vegas.
Firstsource found that 49% said developing accountable care organization (ACO) relationships should be the top priority under health care reform efforts. Another 27% simplifying financial and administrative processes ought to be the top health care reform IT priority, and 24% said improving information technology infrastructure should be the top priority.
On the one hand: Technology is good!
On the other hand: Er … how are the ACOs supposed to succeed with second-rate infrastructure?
The ACO is supposed to be an organization that gives primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals and others a financial incentive to care for a patient on a whole-patient basis, by tying part of the ACO team’s pay on the quality and efficiency of the care the patient received.